Sometime ago, sexually related issues was a no-go area for discussion. People could not openly talk about sex and express themselves on the topic as it is now. Parents wouldn’t speak about sex with their young ones because they thought this would only make them, indulge in the act. In recent times, however, young people know more about sex and engage in sexual activities at a much tender age. Most of their knowledge is based on hearsay and the experience of peers. Sex has become casual for the youth today, becoming a normal part of relationships instead of the sacred thing that it used to be.
According to the Ghana Demographic Health Survey 2014, 44% of young people have sex before age 18.The report indicated that these young people had less sexual education to inform their choices. A survey conducted by GIJ Online News in some tertiary institution campuses last Tuesday further confirmed this; about 80% of the students are sexually active, with some of them breaking their virginity at as early as 12 years.
In an interview with a student in one of the tertiary institutions, she disclosed that being sexually active made her feel good as she had numerous sex partners. When asked if she used protection, she replied in the negative, explaining that she only protected herself when cheating on her partner. The young lady at the age of 26 said she started engaging in sexual activities at the age of 14.
Some children and young adults engage in early sex as a result of broken homes, others engage in early sex as a result of neglect by their parents, some engage in early sex as a result of financial problems and peer pressure. Once you declare your stand to be sexually inactive, your peers laugh at you and call you all sorts of names. This is what leads most young people into engaging in immoral acts in the name of being smart and wise.
A young male adult of 22 told GIJ Online News crew in an interview that he has been engaging in the act since he was 10 years old. According to the him, continuous practice of the act has given him much experience.
Children grow day by day and what they are not taught at home, they learn from outside. For this reason, I think parents and guardians should educate the children and young adults more on sex. The issue is not to shelter children; it’s to equip them with the right information to make them responsible. While empowering them with the knowledge to make good decisions, parents also give them a nudge in the right direction. The way the subject is broached is what determines if children will go to their parents with any sexually related challenges in future.
By Rabi Mateko Azu (Diploma 1) and Phoebe Dadzie (L300)
Photocredit: Elsie Arthur (Diploma 1)